The Jones Report - 2 March 2018

This was a pretty shabby week in Federal politics. While the public are rightly fed up with sordid allegations about politicians, the former Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, hasn’t got the message.

She threatened to read unsubstantiated rumours into Hansard about female staffers in the Leader of the Opposition’s office.  At roughly the same time, the new Minister for Women was addressing an International Womens Day function. One of these senior Government Ministers was on message.

This sordid sideshow took the gloss off the Government’s announcement that there was a new Nationals Leader and, therefore, a new Deputy Prime Minister. What the Nationals really need is not just a new Leader but a new direction.

I’d start with reversing the disastrous decisions on the NBN, Medicare rebates and the funding freeze for regional universities.

Michael McCormack is going to have a tough time distancing himself from this record. He also needs to explain why he supports giving regional workers a penalty rate pay cut of up to $77.


In other news

We learnt that out of pocket expenses to visit a GP and specialist is growing. In the past four years alone, the cost to see a GP has risen by $7 and the cost to visit a specialist has risen by $22.

At the last election, Malcolm Turnbull promised no increased costs for visiting a GP but costs have gone up in every electorate across Australia.



Community Forum with Dr Jim Chalmers MP

Join Labor's Shadow Minister for Finance, Dr Jim Chalmers MP, and myself on Tuesday 6 March to discuss the future of work.

Come along and learn how progress in AI, robotics and automation will impact local jobs and industry.



Statement of Support for Port Kembla Coal Terminal Workers

You have our unwavering support in your fight to stop Port Kembla Coal Terminal terminating your enterprise agreement.

Terminating your agreement means slashing your pay and conditions. It is not on.

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O’Connor has announced a Shorten Labor Government will prevent employers from choosing the nuclear option of terminating agreements, forcing workers back on to the award, which undermines pay and conditions.

This week, Bill Shorten put out a statement saying that Australia’s industrial relations system is being abused and distorted to disadvantage workers, to undermine collective bargaining and to weaken workplace safety.

Labor guarantees that a future Shorten Labor Government will improve our laws to deliver better wages and conditions for working Australians.

We are standing shoulder to shoulder with you in this fight.


Shaping Regional Communities

Great to catch up with Professor Barbara Norman this week to discuss the future of our regional communities.